News & Politics

Lightfoot: Radical Mayor Claims 'It's Not About Me' as Rage Grows Over Political Response to Police Officer's Murder

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

“We’re not waiting on the bagpipes” because “we don’t have 20 minutes for this s—,” Chicago First Deputy Police Supt. Eric Carter, the department’s second in command, reportedly told officers who were paying their respects to slain officer Ella French at the medical examiner’s office, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Two brothers have been charged with French’s murder.

No bagpipes, no day of mourning called for by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, no lowering the city flag to half-mast. You can imagine that if city officials thought they could get away with it, they’d bury Officer Ella French at midnight in an unmarked grave.

Early Sunday morning as a couple of dozen police officers kept vigil at the hospital where French’s partner was fighting for his life, Lightfoot paid a visit to the hospital to show her respect. She was given the silent treatment as all the officers present turned their backs on her.

But Lightfoot insisted the protest about her policies was not about her.

ABC7:

“There was a lot of emotion from the range of the spectrum, from total despair to anger and rage, and everything in between, and that’s to be expected,” she said. “It was a really hard loss.”

But she said the action is emblematic of a larger problem.

“It’s not about me. We are living in a time when people don’t respect each other,” said Lightfoot.

The mayor is frustrated by some of the media coverage this week, including criticism of First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter who was caught on audio saying on Saturday night that there was no time to organize the bagpipe squad to pay honor to French. Lightfoot said it was based on a change in COVID protocols, but the Medical Examiner’s Office said things have not changed.

Carter also mispronounced French’s name, further disheartening the rank-and-file. If the person who is second in command can’t even get the name right of an officer who made the supreme sacrifice, what’s the point in going out day after day and risking your neck?

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Former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told Fox News that morale couldn’t get any lower.

“It’s so important, the sacred nature of rituals, certainly within policing,” McCarthy said. “If there’s an excuse for what happened, then maybe, you know, Eric should talk about it publicly himself. … I think it’s all damage control at this point.”

McCarthy also pointed out that traditionally, officers draw their weapons for the procession but failed to do so in this case.

“That’s probably the result of a policy that was put in place for every time you draw your weapon, you have to do a report about it,” he concluded. “Policing is entirely under attack, and that’s why we have a 100% increase in the murder rate.”

Chicago is coming out of the pandemic flush with cash thanks to Joe Biden and the Democrats pouring money into the city’s coffers with pandemic relief funds. And despite screaming from the radicals, Lightfoot is going to spend some of that extra cash to hire more police officers.

There is “no question” that the budget for the police department — which is under the oversight of a federal judge after a probe found that officers routinely violated the civil rights of Black and Latino Chicagoans — should increase in 2022, Lightfoot said.

The department needs additional funds to recruit new officers and expand programs that offer officers counseling in the wake of trauma they experience on the job. The 2021 Chicago budget eliminated 614 vacant positions in the police department.

However, those cuts prompted several alderpeople who represent wards where many police officers live to vote against the spending plan, costing Lightfoot crucial votes she may need if progressive and socialist aldermen unite in opposition to her plan.

It’s not going to be enough. The money may make a small difference, but what’s needed is a massive overhaul in the attitude of city officials toward police and policing. No more catering to the radicals. No more coddling the gangs. Too many people are dying in the streets to play “social justice” games and pretend we don’t need the police.

A reckoning for the city is coming and the police have to be a vital part of that.